EEOICPA CIRCULAR NO.  12-10                June 10, 2012

 

SUBJECT:  Sandia National Laboratories Special Exposure Cohort Class (SEC) from January 1, 1963 through December 31, 1994.

 

The purpose of this Circular is to notify all Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) staff of the SEC class designation for Sandia National Laboratories located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

Pursuant to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA) and 42 C.F.R. Part 83, a petition was filed on behalf of workers from Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to be added to the SEC.

 

The decision to initiate this petition occurred after the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) determined that it could not reconstruct a dose under 42 C.F.R. § 83.13. NIOSH submitted its findings to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (“the Board”).  On April 9, 2012, the Board submitted recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to add to the SEC a class of employees who worked at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

On May 11, 2012, the Secretary of HHS designated the following class for addition to the SEC in a report to Congress: 

 

All employees of the Department of Energy,its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked in any area at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from January 1, 1963 through December 31, 1994, for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring either solely under this employment, or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees included in the Special Exposure Cohort.

 

A copy of the Secretary’s letter to Congress recommending the designation is included as Attachment 1.  Although Congress had the authority to reject the recommendation within a 30-day time frame, Congress took no action.  Therefore, the SEC designation for this class became effective as of June 10, 2012, which was 30 days after the Secretary of HHS designated the class for addition to the SEC in the report to Congress.

 

This is the second SEC class for workers at Sandia National Laboratories.  The initial class was the subject of EEOICPA Circular 11-10.  To qualify under this SEC class, the employee must be an employee of the Department of Energy, an employee of one of its predecessor agencies, or a contractor or subcontractor who has worked at least 250 workdays in any area of the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico between January 1, 1963 through December 31, 1994.  If the employee does not have 250 workdays at Sandia National Laboratories during the period of the class, the case file must be reviewed to determine if additional days in the SEC can be found by combining days from employment meeting the criteria for other SEC classes and aggregating them together to meet the 250-workday requirement.

 

While a new SEC class has been added for employees at Sandia National Laboratories, NIOSH intends to use any available internal and external monitoring data that may become available for an individual claim (and that can be interpreted using existing NIOSH dose reconstruction processes or procedures).  This means that for claims that do not satisfy the SEC membership criteria, a partial dose reconstruction is to be performed by NIOSH. 

 

A copy of the NIOSH letter to affected Sandia National Laboratories employees is included as Attachment 2.

 

This Circular should be used in conjunction with EEOICPA BULLETIN 11-07, Special Exposure Cohort Claim Processing.  A screening worksheet is included as Attachment 3.

 

As outlined in EEOICPA BULLETIN NO. 11-07, the district offices are to use the comprehensive list provided as the basis for an initial screening of cases associated with all SEC classes.  For screening only, the results reflected on the initial screening worksheet must be recorded in ECS using the NIOSH Causation Path.  From the NIOSH Causation Path on the case, the ‘View/Perform SEC Screening’ window is selected.  Based on the result of the review and in accordance with the ‘SEC Class Screening Worksheet’, the appropriate result of “Likely SEC” or “Unlikely SEC” or “SEC Development Needed” is selected. The date of the signed worksheet is recorded in the date field.  The reason associated with the SEC is selected in the “Initial SEC Screening Reason” field.  For this SEC, the reason is “Rvwd per Circular 12-10, Sandia National Laboratories SEC (1/1/63 – 12/31/94).” If the CE determines that the case is going to be awarded based on an SEC, a positive SEC causation path must be entered into ECS.  This process is the equivalent of the SER/SEF codes discussed in BULLETIN 11-07.

 

 

 

RACHEL P. LEITON

Director, Division of Energy Employees

Occupational Illness Compensation

 

Attachments

 

Distribution List No. 1:  Claims Examiners, Supervisory Claims Examiners, Technical Assistants, Customer Service Representatives, Fiscal Officers, FAB District Managers, Operation Chiefs, Hearing Representatives, District Office Mail & File Section